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Debra A. MacKenzie, Ph.D.

IMG_0686_FINALDebra A. MacKenzie, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Health Sciences Center
The University of New Mexico

Dr. MacKenzie has disclosed two inventions to STC and received two UNM-affiliated issued U. S. patents for her cancer treatment technologies.

Dr. MacKenzie’s cancer technologies are methods and compounds that induce the autophagic process (cell degradation and recycling) in cancer cells.  The screening assay she developed using high-throughput flow cytometry, has identified and tested off-patent drugs, as part of the drug repurposing program at UNM’s Center for Molecular Discovery, as new drug candidates for the prevention and treatment of prostate, melanoma, and other cancers.  The compounds increase intracellular granularity and reverse adherency (sticking ability) in cancer cells, inhibiting proliferation and leading to the degradation and death of the cancer cells.

Dr. MacKenzie’s research focuses on cancer biology and metals immunotoxicology.   Her research efforts are centered around understanding mechanisms of immune regulation and suppression. An experienced molecular biologist, she has studied the actions of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer as a target for prostate carcinogenesis and therapy for advanced disease. Dr. MacKenzie is an investigator on the Navajo Birth Cohort Study, which studies the effects of mixed metal exposure, including arsenic and uranium, on birth outcomes and child development on the Navajo Nation. She is co-PI on a research project supporting the Center for Native American Environmental Health Equity, investigating the associations of metals exposure with immune dysregulation and development of biomarkers of autoimmunity within the Navajo, Crow and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes.

8,835,506    Methods and Related Compositions for the Treatment of Cancer, issued March 11, 2011
9,326,974    Methods and Related Compositions for the Treatment of Cancer, issued August 1, 2014